Amy Webb began practicing yoga in 1997 while completing her degree in Studio Art and English. With a background in outdoor and experiential education, Amy shifted her focus from mixed media installation to the mountains of the Northeast and Colorado in 1999, guiding adventure-based wilderness therapy. At that time, yoga served mainly as a tool for injury recovery, self-reflection, and self-inquiry until she met her first yoga teacher, Mary Bastoni, while working for Summit Achievement in Stow, Maine in 2001. With bright eyes, a big heart, and infinite humor, Mary introduced Amy to Ashtanga yoga as an eight-limbed system, chanting, and meditation. In 2002 Amy began devoting all of her time to yoga as a student and a teacher. Dedicated to their teacher, Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois, Christine Hoar and Nancy Gilgoff were Amy’s next mentors in establishing an Ashtanga yoga practice and in the art of hands on adjustments. Since 2004 Richard Freeman has been her main influence through trainings and immersions in practice, philosophy, chanting, anatomy in the cadaver lab, internal form, pranayama, text study, and ethical teaching principles. Vipassana meditation has also played a central role in her development and practice. Amy has traveled to Mysore, India to meet the Jois family and practice at the heart of Ashtanga yoga, and to Peru to study and work with practices from Amazonian and Andean Q’ero Indian lineage of healers and shamans. Amy offers these practices privately and in workshops in transformational arts. Amy moved to the Berkshires in 2007 to work with the Berkshire Ashtanga practice community before opening Sruti in 2010.
Anna Brooke is the first person to be licensed and certified to teach Wu Tao in the USA. She is proud to have taught Wu Tao Dance at Shambhala Yoga & Dance (Brooklyn, NY), The New York Open Center (NYC), SAGE Centers for LGBT seniors in Manhattan and the Bronx, St. Louis Senior Center in Brooklyn, NY, a chapter of the Catholic Charities of NYC, Mind Body Soul Yoga (NYC), The Center, Life in Balance (Medford, NJ), Sruti Yoga (Great Barrington, MA) and with Your Beautiful Child (NYC).
Ann Canning | Amrit Tej Kaur Khalsa
Amrit Tej Kaur Khalsa discovered Kundalini yoga through Sruti’s weekday morning Sadhana practice. Soon after, she experienced that her life began shifting in a natural way to one rooted in greater calm, joy, discipline, and service to others. In carrying out her professional role at a Fortune 500 company, Amrit Tej found her practice of Kundalini yoga essential to executing with grace and authenticity. She received her Kundalini Yoga teacher certification level I from Golden Bridge NYC in 2017 where she trained with Gurmukh and Gurushabd Singh Khalsa.
Amrit Tej now coordinates and often leads the Sruti weekday morning Sadhanas and substitute teaches Kundalini classes at Sruti, as needed. She holds a deep reverence for each student’s life journey and the power to transform it through Kundalini yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan.
Beryl Bender Birch
Beryl Bender Birch has been a student of yoga since l971 and traveled to India in l974 for 6 months to study with Jain monks. In l980 she discovered the Astanga yoga practice and began two years of daily study with her teacher, Norman Allen, the first American to complete all series of study with Jois. Beryl was the first woman to teach Ashtanga Yoga on the East Coast and pioneered the introduction of her “Power Yoga” to the athletic community. She studied with Pattabhi Jois for several years in the mid 80’s and from l980 to 2002, she taught this amazing practice to tens of thousands of athletes. She now travels internationally, is the author of three best selling books on yoga, and is one of the best known and most experienced teachers of classical yoga. She has been training and certifying yoga teachers for 30 years through her school, the Hard and the Soft Yoga Institute. In 2007, she founded the Give Back Yoga Foundation.
Carrie Grossman, MA, has explored the world’s spiritual traditions for over 15 years in the U.S. and abroad, and holds degrees in Religious Studies from Brown and Naropa Universities. She is a graduate of the Center for Mind Body Medicine’s Advanced Training Program and teaches mind-body skills for stress reduction and joyful living. A registered yoga instructor and Kripalu Bodywork practitioner, Carrie has also been a student of Sanskrit chanting for over ten years. Carrie is interested in the connection between psychology and spirituality, and believes that enduring social change requires a transformation of the individual. She is a writer and senior editor of Common Ground magazine, and is deeply inspired by the love-soaked Indian saint Sri Mata Amritanandamayi.
Co-founder and Director of the Paititi Institute, Center for Indigenous Medicine.
The Paititi Institute for the Preservation of the Environment and Indigenous Culture is a nonprofit organization devoted to the integration of indigenous wisdom into every day life. Paititi Is a Quechua name that represents an enlightened realm manifested thorough the awakening of our shared human heart.
At the Paititi Institute, Cynthia is working alongside her partners to create a platform that integrates ancient wisdom into practical applications in our modern world, building intercultural bridges for healing on physical, emotional and spiritual levels for all people from all cultures and all spiritual traditions. She currently works to develop and facilitate holistic experiential education models weaving together our inner and outer landscapes through nature awareness, traditional Permaculture education, health education and indigenous Amazonian teachings and practices integrated with ancestral wisdom from all around the planet.
In addition, she serves as the Director of Permaculture at the Institute where she is in charge of establishing tropical permaculture models at the grounds of the Institute, while establishing an intentional community which implements many ongoing outreach projects in the local native villages and tribes. The projects focus on appropriate technology for sanitation and clean water, fair trade exports, and cultural healing exchange programs which establish natural medicine clinics.
At the same time, she is currently in the process of being initiated into the Indigenous Amazonian Healing practices to become a medicine woman and carry on an ancient lineage of healing wisdom.
Dan Hegerich is a Natural Health Educator and Holistic Lifestyle Coach. His approach to dynamic health emphasizes self-love through nutrition and movement therapies rooted in the seven elements of healing: Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Mind, Love and Rest. Most of Dan’s inspiration and knowledge was born of his own experience transcending a form of cancer-diagnosed “terminal” After a failed bone marrow transplant in 1995; Dan applied his expertise in civil engineering to healing himself, which involved reversing a cycle of degenerative disease and embracing a positive, generative cycle of multi-faceted nourishment. During the last 20 years, Dan has traveled widely in pursuit of pioneering knowledge of natural health and along the way earning certifications in sports massage therapy, holistic counseling, corrective holistic exercise kinesiology, holistic lifestyle coaching, applied kinesiology, qigong, nutritional balancing science, life coaching and conscious breathwork. Dan was granted permission, by Grandmaster Fu, to facilitate Emei Qigong Universal Mantra – a self-healing technique for tapping into the energy around us for health, healing, personal growth and spiritual development. In addition to facilitating Emei Qigong, he leads workshops, retreats, and talks on The Elements of Healing and Conscious Breathwork. As a coach, Dan guides clients towards self-mastery living and disease free by aligning with nature’s laws and their true own authentic nature.
Guy Donahaye Level II Ashtanga
Guy Donahaye has been practicing and teaching traditional Ashtanga Yoga for over twenty five years. He is one of a small handful of students to receive an advanced teaching certificate from Sri K Pattabhi Jois. He is also blessed to be a student of Dr KLS Jois (Acharya). While Gurujii has been the main guide in the development of asana practice, Acharya has been a guide to the complete system of yoga.
Guy is author of the book Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K Pattabhi Jois Through the Eyes of his Students - a collection of 30 interviews with senior students and close family of Pattabhi Jois. He is director of the Ashtanga Yoga Shala NYC - a school dedicated to the Mysore style of teaching with the goal of presenting the complete ashtanga yoga system.
Jeevan Justin Torrico Fawks
Jeevan Justin Torrico Fawks I am a student of life, always learning, curious. Permaculture, Yoga, Tantra, Qi Gong, Buddhism, and indigenous wisdom tradition from around the world have blessed me with insight and support for how to be; Who I am. And What I am for. Everything that I share weaves together the teachings that keep me healthy, point me towards Truth and continue to open my heart. I work to offer the highest in me to the highest in you, in this way honoring the Earth, the Elements and all that makes this precious life possible.
Johanna Wise is a certified AcroYoga teacher, a 500-hr Kripalu Yoga Teacher, and licensed massage therapist/ massage instructor. Johanna serves as Lead Healing Arts Therapist/ yoga teacher/ program presenter at Kripalu, teaches at several studios, and has a private practice. Johanna is passionate about sharing the profound ways in which yoga and bodywork reconnect us to our bodies and ourselves.
When Johanna discovered acroyoga, she fell in love. Acroyoga brought together elements of all of the most influential practices that had long been part of Johanna's life - gymnastics, dance, yoga, massage, and intimacy & relational work/ conscious communication. Like gymnastics, acroyoga engages the practitioner in creative, playful movement, and offers an experience of "flying" through the air. Acroyoga also brings in the spirituality of yoga, and the deep healing and connection of massage. Acoryoga is at its core, a practice of collaboration and co-creation, and in this way brings in conscious communication.
Johanna's favorite part of teaching acroyoga is seeing her students surprise themselves with courage and strength they didn't know they had.
John Campbell, Ph.D., has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga for the past 25 years. He studied directly with Pattabhi Jois from 1992 until his passing in 2009 and was Certified by his late teacher in 2002. A scholar of Sanskrit and Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, he is co-founder of the Contemplative Sciences Center at the University of Virginia, where he served as professor of Religious Studies until 2017.
Creator of the healing modality Prayerful Resonance, and visionary of the Devotional Music Foundation, JoJo Silverman, has been a student of yoga, meditation, holistic health, chanting, hand percussion, and fire-keeping for 20 years. Using sound in the exploration of consciousness to connect hearts and minds is his gift and mission. He is currently resides in Asheville NC, focusing on his healing work and music-as-prayer.
Petri Räisänen is internationally known and respected as one of Ashtanga Yoga’s new generation of teachers. He is a devoted student of his Guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and was authorized to teach Astanga Yoga in 2001 by Guruji. Petri is careful to pass on his Guru’s exact teachings. Petri focuses on integrating healing and therapy with yoga, meeting student’s individual needs and guiding their progress. Petri’s yoga pose adjustments are gentle, effective, therapeutic and, according to some, almost magical, and originate (besides his own practice and teaching) from his past work as a traditional Finnish folk healer and naturopath. His friendly, relaxed behaviour and intuivite perception give an open, energetic and meditative atmosphere to his classes.
Petri started practicing Ashtanga yoga in 1988 and teaching in 1990. He is the co-owner and director of Ashtanga Yoga Helsinki, one of the world’s largest Astanga Yoga Shalas. In 2004, Petri wrote “Astanga – The Yoga Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois” in collaboration with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson, R. Sharath Jois. The book introduces the primary series (1st series) Astanga Yoga method and philosophy, as well as its potential as a physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual practice. His intermediate series (2nd series) book “Nadi Sodhana” was released in 2008 and is written mostly from the interviews with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois from 2006-2007 in Mysore, India. Both books are written as part of Petri’s ongoing pilgrimage into Astanga yoga’s inner word, with a great sense of respect towards his Guru and the Yoga Tradition.
Please visit the first book’s website “Astanga – The Yoga Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois” : www.ashtangabook.com
Information on the intermediate series book “Nadi Sodhana” can be found on the book’s Finnish publisher Otava’s website
Pooja Prema is a visionary artist and facilitator who works in many mediums – ritual, theatre, dance, speaking, writing, and music - weaving together the realms of the spiritual, transpersonal, personal and political, in service to honoring and preserving the wisdom heritage of her ancestors. Her given name Pooja means “offering” in Sanskrit, while the essence of her craft lives in the word “vacha” – that which is spoken into being/ the practice of eloquent speech. Pooja offers ritual-workshops with the desire to re-orient consciousness toward a sacred relationship with the Feminine, the Earth, and our shared humanity, and guides women in reclaiming the innate wisdom found in their bodies and menstrual cycle. More about her and her work can be found at PoojaPrema.com and RitesofPassageProject.org
Co-founder and Director of the Paititi Institute, Center for Indigenous Medicine.
Roman Hanis has spent the last ten years working with indigenous Peruvian cultures in the Amazonian rainforest, learning the ancient healing ways while seeking possibilities for creating ecological sources of sustenance for local populations and working to preserve the rainforest and its spiritual heritage of sacred medicinal plants.
Seeing the vital role that ancient cultural practices can play in today’s world, Roman honors and shares their value and wisdom through his work in community projects, healing retreats and educational workshops in both Peru and the U.S.
He is a certified Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner in Peru, and studied the fundamentals of TCM and acupuncture as an apprentice under the director of the Open International Institute of Oriental Medicine, Myriam Hacker, in Iquitos, Peru.
In 2002, Roman was fortunate enough to be cured of a terminal, genetic illness. In 2004, he was pledged as a healer-curandero by the Whitoto tribe and has served the international community as a medicine man ever since. He has also practiced physical trauma rehabilitation, medical massage therapy and Eastern bodywork, having earned his AOS (Associate in Occupational Studies) degree from New York’s Swedish Institute of Health. With these tools and concentrated efforts, he has been able to help numerous individuals overcome many health issues and pathologies on physical, mental and spiritual levels.
Since 1999, Roman has also practiced the Eastern spiritual disciplines of Tibetan breathwork & meditation, QiGong, Yoga, Shaolin physical therapy and Toltec practices as well as the perspective of these disciplines from Jungian psychology. He speaks Spanish, Hebrew, Russian and English.
Roman looks forward to eradicating suffering in the world and its cause — ignorance — by promoting education on the possibilities of more sustainable, harmonious relationships with nature, and to simultaneously create supportive, self-sustaining and nurturing communities.
Ruby Aver began daily Tai Chi/Chi Kung practice studying with Master Djie Han Thung in the Netherlands in 1988. She assisted him for two years before teaching in Amsterdam. She continued in private training with Grandmaster William C.C. Chen (student of Great - Grandmaster Cheng Man-Ching) and Peter Ralston. In the Berkshires she taught Tai Chi Sword as a faculty member of Bard College at Simon's Rock for five years as well as private lessons in her home studio in Housatoinc,Ma. She enjoys making TaiChi/Chi Kung accessible and applicable .
Rudi Bach conducts Himalayan Bowl meditation sessions in a variety of settings for individuals, couples, and groups; and has been with us here at Sruti weekly for three years. His father gave him his first bowl when he was a young boy, and since then the collection has grown into a small orchestra of ancient instruments. He studies Sound Therapy with Mitch Nur.
Senta Reis infuses her teaching with an earnest commitment to guiding students into an intuitive heart-centered exploration of their full being; body, mind and spirit. A master at welcoming and including those new to yoga, individuals with perceived limitations, and the yoga devotee, her classes are holistic, compassionate and renewing. Senta discovered the joy of yoga at the age of 16 as part of her adolescent love of all things Indian. After a long hiatus, and deep involvement in western spiritual science, she returned to yoga in 2000. She received her Kripalu 200 hour certification in 2006 and completed 500 hours in 2010. Senta is additionally certified in Yoga Ed for children and trained in somatic movement, shamanic studies and expressive arts.